My girlfriend has CD. I have a question..

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/7/2008 10:19 PM (GMT -7)   
So my girlfriend of two years has Crohns. We're also in a long-distance relationship and see each other a few times a year.

The first time I met her back in 2006, she had literally left the hospital earlier that day for an ileostomy surgery. She was pale and frail, and though she wore a smile, I knew little about how she was really feeling inside. I didn't know much about the disease at the time or even what an ileostomy was.

Much has changed since then. She's gained weight. No more attacks. She sees her doctor regularly and is on Remicade. She meets with a nutritionist and is on a strict diet. As for myself, I've learned a lot about CD and can understand better what she went through in 2006 and what she goes through now.

This year she's anticipating surgery to remove the stoma. There's a bit of concern about how her body will react. She befriended an older woman in the hospital with CD who had gone through several surgeries and recovery, but had to return to hospital because of some complications. She was eating right, but her digestive system would not process the food like it should and she was getting diarrhea among other problems.

As with my girlfriend, they removed a part of her intestine that regulates food passage and a part that absorbs acid. I don't know the actual names of these parts. My girlfriend said they are vital to digesting food and without them, you may have digestive problems. She couldn't explain it to me better than that because she doesn't know what to expect of her body after the surgery either.

So that's why I'm here. I guess I want to know if there are others here who can shed some light in this area. What are these parts of her intestines that is missing and how big a deal is it that they are missing? What can she expect?

Thank you for any information you can share.


Post Edited (WayneH) : 4/7/2008 11:23:17 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 4/8/2008 4:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Wayne,

Sorry to hear about your girlfirend.  She is very lucky to have someone like you who wants to understand. Is she having her terminal illieum removed?  If so, I can tell you my experience with this surgery.  I did not have the ileostomy first, so I don't know if it makes any difference.  I now experience diareaha (sp?) all the time, sometimes 6 times a day, sometimes 25.  I have learned form the wonderful people on this forum that there are medicines out there for the D and I will be talking to my GI when I see him the end of the month.  Many of us Crohn's sufferers experience depression and anxiety, so continue to be there for her and support her!  I can't tell you how much it would have meant to me if my husband had been more understanding.  I don't know if any of this helps, but I will keep your girlfiend in my prayers. 

Diagnosed 1972 with UC (12 years old); many flares over the years
1994 had my son and became very ill; took 4 years to get the correct diagnosis.
PCP diagnosed with IBS and was down 70lbs. by the time I insisted on seeing a specialist.
1997 Diagnosed  with Fistulizing Crohn's
1998 had 1ft. of small intestine removed including terminal illieum, have had constant diarrhea since.
Currently taking imuran, prilosec, synthroid, zoloft, xanax & B12

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 4/8/2008 4:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello WayneH,

Welcome to the Forum. Please encourage your grilfriend to join us here. She can learn alot from the many very (unfortunately) experienced people that frequent this site.

I suggest she have a long talk with her Dr to make sure she knows exactly what was done to her during the surgery. The better educated she is, the better she will be able to handle CD's symptoms and make wise decisions about future surgeries, medications, and foods. Sounds like she has good Dr. because she is on Remicade. Hopefully the Dr. is experienced with CD.

Thanks for being there for her!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 4/8/2008 10:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I have not had any surgeries so I can't really pipe in on advice here but may I say, "WOW!!!" to Wayne for being such a great FRIEND to his girlfriend. Awesome.
Diagnosed in October, 2004 at age 33.
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, One-A-Day multivitamin, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin A
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 4/8/2008 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Wayne, I think you might be talking about the ileol-cecal valve (sp). This regulates the passage of food and therefore diarrhea
usually becomes an issue. Mine was removed with part of my ileum, during my first surgery. I do still have diarrhea issues and
absorption problems. The doctors did tell me that overtime the bowel can re-learn to regulate, so I guess it isn't all doom & gloom.

However, your girl friend has already been through a lot, and probably already know this stuff...

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.
Fibromyalgia and recently diagnosed with pancreatitis

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1265
   Posted 4/8/2008 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Just wanted to say YOU ROCK thanks for being such a good man to her.
hugs to you both,sm
Confucius say : He who goes to bed with itchy butt wakes up with stinky finger.

Words of wisdom: Never trust a fart

:) Sugarmarie A.K.A. Poopy Pants :)

Mark Mac
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 4/8/2008 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Props for being a stand up guy! It shows a lot of love that you would take the time to come here to learn more for the two of you.

The largest problem I have (other than the D and crippling pain ;-)) is vitamin B absorption. I used to give myself B12 injections, and now take an intra-nasal spray that helps greatly with my fatigue. The last part of the small intestine is where a large amount of our B vitamin absorption takes place. This may be something she wants to look into. Not a silver bullet, but what is? Best of luck.

Mark Mac
28, male, diagnosed CD in 93'. Currently taking Humira, and darvoset for pain. Also getting acupuncture and chinese herbs as well as a massage when I can afford it. 107 lb

"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 4/8/2008 4:31 PM (GMT -7)   
wayne ur awesome, u have no idea how much it means to us girls to have a man that loves us regardless. Especially since this disease comes with embarassing symptoms,side effects, and physical changes. I just got my ileostomy, and i still have all my parts, and i havent read to see if n e one has suggested. But mayb u should repost ur questions on the ostomy board. There r some people there who have had reversals recently
25 y/o female- crohns disease since 14
Ileostomy pending-very worried
Tried asacol,pentasa,prednisone,remicade,6mp,azasan, no avail
Seatons placed
Worst year ever!

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear....."
Where does mine come from?!
 Temp Ileostomy performed 1/29/08
Still Adusting has been my Godsend...Thank you

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